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Gun control activists who are looking for bold, decisive action from the Biden administration have been disappointed so far in the president’s lack of policy on the issue.
But Biden is about to change that with a flurry of executive orders targeting law-abiding citizens who choose to own a gun.
He can’t take anyone’s gun away, but his plan to load down gun owners with regulations and place obstacles in their path to purchasing guns will be the best that the gun control advocates can hope for.
Among the executive actions under consideration by the administration is one that would require buyers of so-called ghost guns — homemade or makeshift firearms that lack serial numbers — to undergo background checks, according to three people who have spoken to the White House about their plans.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who spoke to the White House in the last week, said he recommended the administration take executive actions to close the so-called Charleston loophole that allows a gun to be transferred from licensed gun dealers before a completed background check. But Biden aides were reluctant, Blumenthal said.
That’s not exactly what the “loophole” allows, as the NRA backgrounder explains.
- The 3 day proceed to sale provision is a safety valve that ensures gun purchasers in the U.S. are not arbitrarily denied their Second Amendment Rights. Without the 3 day provision, the FBI has no incentive to complete checks in a timely manner.
- Delaying the exercise of a person’s right to self-defense can have deadly results. In 2015, Carol Bowne of Berlin, New Jersey was murdered by her ex-boyfriend after waiting more than forty days for a firearm permit. Eliminating the 3 day proceed to sale provision would expose law-abiding Americans to the same type of deadly delay that prevented Ms. Bowne from defending herself.
Today’s technology could actually cut that three-day period for a background check to one day in a vast majority of cases. Biden hopes to make the closing of the Charleston “loophole” part of his massive legislative package. There’s no timetable for the release of that proposal, which is making gun control advocates nervous.
A White House official said that Biden is considering “every tool at our disposal, including executive actions” and is looking at investing in community violence programs, requiring background checks, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and repealing gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability. But Biden still lacks a Senate-confirmed attorney general and director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who will play a key role in any executive branch action on guns.
“During the campaign, the president laid out an ambitious plan to keep our communities safe, and he remains committed to that agenda,” White House spokesperson Mike Gwin said.
Any attempt to repeal liability protections for gun manufacturers will initiate a war with Second Amendment proponents who will look to block any such proposal in court. It would turn liability law on its head and open the floodgates that would probably destroy the industry.
With the Senate currently at 50-50, Biden isn’t likely to get anything done on guns. But he’s definitely putting Republicans on notice that an anti-Second Amendment storm is coming.